OREANDA-NEWS. February 17, 2016. On-hand to present their stands were 110 companies from Pskov, Arkhangelsk, Saratov and Tyumen Regions and another 20 regions from around Russia, as well as St. Petersburg museums, tour operators and hotels. What’s more, Leningrad Region unveiled a new tourism project based in the Northwestern Federal District – the “Silver Ring.”

Guests attending the Week’s official opening were welcomed by St. Petersburg Vice Governor Sergey Movchan, who passed on a special greeting from St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko: “Our country’s citizens are with increasing frequency blazing trails through our homeland. The time has now come for import substitution in the sphere of tourism. We have to start thinking about how to make vacationing in Russia more convenient, comfortable, affordable, accessible, engaging and memorable.” The vice governor also added that the city is looking for new opportunities to broaden the work of the Import-Substitution and Localisation Centre – from now on, the venue will showcase not only industrial products, but projects targeting Russian history and culture as well.

The Chairwoman of the Committee for the Development of Tourism – Inna Shalyto, remarked that within just the past few days, the authoritative British daily The Telegraph had for the first time ever named a Russian city – St. Petersburg – as one of the most-recommended travel destinations of 2016. The committee head also pointed out that 2015 had been record-breaking for the Northern Capital: for the first time in the history of such statistics-gathering, St. Petersburg was visited by a whopping 6.5 mln tourists. Although the increase was spurred by the influx of Russian tourists (experiencing a gain of 20%), the number of foreign tourists also held steady. “I think that this business platform, the scene of so many fascinating discussions, will help us make the Russian tourism product even more fully-featured and interesting – both for us Russians as well as for tourists from abroad,” said Inna Anatolievna.

The new course being charted for Russian domestic and inbound tourism was discussed by the Deputy Director of the RF Federal Tourism Agency – Roman Skory, who reported that in 2015, Russian domestic and inbound tourism had almost grown by 18% to reach the level of 50 mln domestic trips. That said, tourism accounts for just 1.5% of Russian GDP, which stands in sharp contrast to the average global rate of about 10%. “In order to fully satisfy demand, we have to offer Russian tourists competitive travel products that conform to international standards. Security issues must also be paid a great deal of attention,” stressed Roman Skory. 

The international business week devoted to import-substitution in tourism “Russia – Land of Travel” will run at the Import-Substitution and Localisation Centre. The event is being organised by the St. Petersburg Committee for the Development of Tourism.